Grandma made those calls last week and left messages all over the place. She started hearing back today and making other calls as recommended by the first round. She collected all of the information, typed it up, and emailed it to us--in addition to giving Trillian the short version over the phone. She passed along names and phone numbers. Among the encouraging bits of information:
- The public school system where we want to live is, according to the autism clinic, among the best in the country for supporting students all along the spectrum.
- In order to get support for Scooter, we do not need to come in with a diagnosis. The evaluations we already have are enough to initiate educational evaluation with the schools and get him an IEP.
- While there is a very long wait for evaluation with the developmental pediatrician, that clinic has received increased funding and is looking to speed up the process. But even absent that, there are several places in the area that provide services to autistic children before official diagnosis.
- There is a pediatric clinic in my in-laws' city that has a good reputation for their support of autistic clients. There may also be a pediatrician in the smaller town who works extensively with autistic children.
- There are support groups for kids and parents in both the town and nearby city.
- If we move to the smaller town before Scooter is 5 or if child #2 needs similar services, there is a preschool program there--through the public schools--specifically aimed at children with developmental delays.
- Yet again, we have affirmation that we have already put into place the therapies that Scooter needs.
The rest of the information helps me relax a little about where we're headed (figuratively and geographically). Knowing that our in-laws' area will provide plenty of support for Scooter, I can settle into the decision we've made and quit second-guessing myself. And I can start working on the concrete steps--applying for a job in the in-laws' city, making progress on my comps, creating a timetable for buying a house and moving.
And let me just say: Grandma rocks! It is difficult to express just how much I appreciate the foundation that her research gives us. Trillian and I would have made the necessary calls at some point, not too long from now, but having the information now, without having to find the time to play phone tag, gets us moving much faster than we had planned.
Any surprise we want to live near Scooter's grandparents?